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Articles: 1981 Articles
More - 1981 Warhead
I've always liked this UK band even though they were quite late to enter the NWOBM ranks during 1980/1981.For me, 'Warhead' is when the band were at their creative best. Even Rock Candy Records thought so too, and reissued the album in 2011.

Mothers Finest - 1981 Iron Age
Some A&R men wanted Mother's Finest to be an urban contemporary act and cater to black radio's tastes, but on 'Iron Age', MF was clearly going after the heavy metal/hard rock audience of the early 1980s.

Motley Crue - 1981 Too Fast For Love
As you might have surmised there isn't one bad track in the lot here, an instant classic obviously.

MPG - 1981 MPG
The Heavy Metal Encyclopedia got it wrong I reckon, especially when it came to categorising this band MPG. 'Cheap Trick quirkisms?' What a lot of rubbish. How about prime-time Touch, with a healthy dose of Face Dancer and New England thrown in for good measure?

Nazareth - 1981 The Fool Circle
After the Americanised sheen of 1980's 'Malice In Wonderland', this effort compares as slightly more whimsical and British (or should that be Scottish?).

New England - 1981 Walkin' Wild
An excellent AOR band from Boston, who came out of nowhere during 1979, to release a widely distributed album on the MCA subsidiary Infinity,subsequently releasing a pair of pomp classics over the next two years.

Niteflyte - 1981 Niteflyte II
Nothing like a little west coast soul to get the blood pumping and 'Nightflyte II' delivers. If you are familiar with and enjoy the music of early 80's Al Jarreau, Raydio, Windjammer, Zingara and the poppier side of the Brothers Johnson ('Strawberry Letter 23' anyone?) then these guys will fit quite well between your Ambrosia and Pages albums.

Novo Combo - 1981 Novo Combo
For some reason, New York band Novo Combo seem to have a presence here at this site. Even though their tenure was brief during the early 80's, they packed some serious pedigree into their two album run, that deserves another look.

O Banion, John - 1981 John O'Banion
Apart from the fact that nearly every song has the term 'love' in the song-title, this debut LP from the much missed John O'Banion will take you back through the decades for a visit of nostalgia.

O, Gary (O'Connor) - 1981 Gary O
Gary O'Connor was previously with Canadian band Aerial. In 1981 he went solo, and his self titled debut is definitely more focused, and rooted in 60's British pop.

Omega - 1981 Az Arc
'Az Arc' was a big deal In Hungary and the Eastern Bloc, plenty of television appearances to promote the hits and a captivating video for the title song which can all be seen on youtube. Judging by this album's AOR qualities, Omega's space themed pomp rock was abandoned for a more direct and commercial AOR direction to coincide with the new decade's ambitions.

Omega - 1981 Working
So we have a strange situation with a classic European AOR act at their commercial peak, without an English language record contract in place. WEA Germany came to the rescue with a one album deal, which saw Omega head to Frankfurt. Safely ensconced in Hotline Studios with Peter Hauke in the producer's chair, Omega set about creating a more direct English AOR album for the 1981 market.

Osbourne, Ozzy - 1981 Diary Of A Madman
Here's another album that is part of the backfiller program happening here at GDM. Its' the second Ozzy Osbourne LP 'Diary Of A Madman' which was a very popular album during that year. It was also the last recording to feature wonder guitarist Randy Rhoads..

Ouray - 1981 Motor Dream
A few years ago we reviewed the 1978 Ouray debut 'Chrome On The Range'. It appears between releases much had changed within the Ouray camp, two new members brought into the fold as well as a pop-oriented sound and I'm not so sure it works.

Pablo Cruise - 1981 Reflector
Much covered and revered here at Glory Daze are the classic West Coast melodic rock legends, who have almost had every studio release reviewed at some point.

Pages - 1981 Pages
Pages is the pre-cursor to that other eighties icon of AOR called Mr Mister.

Paul, Henry (Band) - 1981 Anytime
Perhaps the best known of Henry Paul's four solo album from 1979 to 1982, this was the culmination of Paul's flirtation with AOR which he had been gradually shifting to after he left The Outlaws in 1977.

Perry, Joe (Project) - 1981 I've Got The Rock And Rolls Again
'I've Got The Rock And Rolls Again' was produced by ruce Botnick, The Doors engineer and recorded in Boston at the Boston Opera House. This album does have its highlights, but it is no way on a par with the debut.

PFM - 1981 Come Ti Va In Riva Alla Cita
Italian progessive/spaghetti rockers PFM had a go at arena-ready AOR for this 1981, with mixed results; complete with the good the bad and the ugly.

Placebo - 1982 England's Trance
Formed in Newcastle by Michelle and Gary Wild and signed to the tiny Aura label; reviews for their debut compared them to The Byrds, Curved Air and Wishbone Ash.

Player - 1981 Spies Of Life
Peter Beckett continued with a revised lineup and Player recorded what many consider their finest record - 'Spies Of Life'.

Point Blank - 1981 American Excess
Like all of Point Blank's albums this is about as faultless as possible, the AOR promise of which was fulfilled on the magnificent 'On A Roll' from 1982.

Police, The - 1981 Ghost In The Machine
The reggae love affair had gone, and on this their fourth album, The Police seemed to experiment a bit more, with mixed success.

Praying Mantis - 1981 Time Tells No Lies
When one thinks about the early days of the NWOBHM, a couple of bands spring to mind. Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard, Diamondhead, and Praying Mantis. Yes, these London based boys formed around the Greek brothers Tino and Chris Troy were right there at the start.

Prism - 1981 Small Change
The name of the album is apt, considering the appointment of their new lead singer Henry Small previously with Small Wonder..

Pure Prairie League - 1981 Something In The Night
The Vince Gill years of the Pure Prairie League saw a resurgence that has been well covered here in reviews of their other two albums 'Can't Hold Back (1979)' and 'Firin' Up (1980)'. The third of the Gill triumvirate deserves a spot here as much as its predecessors however, another excellent slice of melodic styled country rock, leaning towards AOR

Quarterflash - 1981 Quarterflash
Anyone who hasn't heard their hit 'Harden My Heart' has probably lived in a cave for the last thirty years.

Qwest - 1981 Tampico Gold
On the marginal side of pop infused melodic rock comes this debut effort from long forgotten Canadian outfit Qwest - who managed two albums before heading straight into oblivion it would appear.

Rabin, Trevor - 1981 Wolf
What 'Face To Face' lacked for in song quality, was offset by Rabin's musical ability to go it mostly alone. On 'Wolf' however, the songs might be better quality but the responsibility for playing on the album has been farmed out to others.

Raynor, Dave - 1981 Rain Or Shine
I chanced upon this album thanks to a YouTube video. Dave Raynor, not a name that most AORsters would know, but possibly West Coast fans might. If you're into artists like Greg Guidry, or the late Roger Voudouris or even the late John O'Banion, then Dave Raynor needs to be on your radar.

Renaissance - 1981 Camera Camera
Quality progressive rock from this British institution Renaissance never sounded so different on their 1981 album 'Camera Camera'.

Riff Raff - 1981 Vinyl Futures
If my memory serves me correctly, these boys came out of Ohio but moved to New York to be closer to the action. They have a very heavy drum sound, similar to Billy Squier and also Illusion.

Rings, The - 1981 The Rings
The first and best of two albums from Boston's The Rings is widely considered to be a power pop classic, despite some nagging similarities to another band from the same city - The Cars.

Riot - 1981 Fire Down Under
Boy, is there a story with this album! David vs Goliath.. Capitol Records vs the band Riot, and a whole lotta backroom dealing and shakin' goin' on.

Ritenour, Lee - 1981 Rit
Lee Ritenour crossed over into mainstream/commercial territory, obviously buoyed by the success of guys such as George Benson, Chuck Mangiaone and A&M Records head honcho Herb Alpert. Hooking up with ex Medusa lead singer Eric Tagg proved to be a masterstroke, as these co-written songs are catchy, commercial, fun, and most importantly melodic. The jazz meets West Coast approach proved a winner.

Rocken Horse - 1981 Rocken Roll
The other week we made mention of a inner suburban Chicago band from the late 70's called Freewheelin'. Well here's another Chicago obscurity called Rocken Horse.

Rods, The - 1981 The Rods
Who remembers these guys? The Rods. A manic and rabid trio of heavy metallers from New York. Well that's how they might have ended up, but initially when they first came out, their music was great commercial flavoured hard rock.

Rox (USA) - 1981 Rox
Rox were a cross between The Cars and the All Sports Band with slight Max Webster tendencies for lack of a better description. AOR meets power pop if you will..

Rush - 1981 Moving Pictures
For the first time in their career, Rush move left-of-center and create a radio friendly and commercial effort. As much as I thought that the previous album 'Permanent Waves' was a turning point in their fortunes, 'Moving Pictures' is probably the defining moment in the second phase/decade of their career.

Saga - 1981 Worlds Apart
Canadian band Saga struck a beautiful chime-like nerve with me upon the release of their 1980 critically acclaimed album 'Silent Knight'. They went close to equalling that with this beauty 'Worlds Apart'..

Santana - 1981 Zebop!
'Zebop!' was Santana's eleventh album, and proved to be a commercial success, reaching platinum status in the USA.

Savoy Brown - 1981 Rock N Roll Warriors
The first step in the Savoy Brown metamorphosis was roping in former Bux and Joe Perry Project vocalist Ralph Mormon into the camp. The second was to update the Savoy Brown sound from the tired blues rock of days gone by to a hard rock band early 80's style. Did they succeed? Hell yeah! 'Rock 'N' Roll Warriors' is a superb rock album that never lets up.

Saxon - 1981 Denim And Leather
Compared to the hundreds of other bands roaming the scene was worlds ahead. Saxon required another monumental effort to separate themselves further and achieved that comprehensively with 'Denim And Leather' which rightfully became one of the cornerstones of the whole genre.

Scaramouche - 1981 Scaramouche
From an era when symphonic rock was prevalent throughout Europe, comes the sole LP from German band Scaramouche.

Scarbury, Joey - 1981 America's Greatest Hero
A sure-fire contender for a one-hit wonder award is L.A based singer Joey Scarbury. Many will remember him as the voice behind the TV series theme song for 'America's Greatest Hero' ..

Schneider, John - 1981 Now Or Never


Schneider is best known from his TV role on 'Dukes of Hazzard'. He's also a recording artist. Schneider's 1981 debut for Scotti Bros took a host of tangents, with obligatory AOR and West Coast moves included.

Schon And Hammer - 1981 Untold Passion
Definitely recommended for fans of both men, but nowhere near classic status.

Deezer

Scooter - 1981 One By One
Here's a cool Belgian band who skirted the new wave and power pop sub-genres during the late 70's and early 80's.

Sheila - 1981 Little Darlin
A huge star in her native France as a singer, model and actress since the early 60s, Sheila does AOR for 1981's 'Little Darlin'..

Sherbs, The -1981 Defying Gravity
The Sherbs are effectively the Aussie band Sherbet, in its third reincarnation. Unfortunately, the history of The Sherbs is short, sweet and ignominious.
 
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